Ligonier Valley Writers announce Winning Flash Fiction Stories

A twin walks into a bar, where she meets a man who is also a twin.

They get into an intense discussion about how good twins can get rid of

their evil twins. Who (if anyone) is telling the truth?

To find out, read the first-prize story in Ligonier Valley Writers' 16th annual Flash Fiction Contest. 


First Place ($50 prize): "The Dance of the Evil Twins"

by Greg Beatty of Bellingham, Washington

Second Place ($25 prize): "You Flinched"

by Barbara Purbaugh of Las Vegas, Nevada

Third Place ($15 prize): "Boxed Set"

JT Williams of Norfolk, Virginia

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order by author):

"Reverse Perspective" by Ryan J. McBriar of Warren, PA  

"Double PlayJoe Potts of Greensburg, PA

"Mirror, Mirror" Sharon A. Pruchnik of Windber, PA

Our celebrity judge was Damian Dressick, who says of “The Dance of the Evil Twins,” the first-place story, "Its wry humor and clever twist will both delight and amuse."

This year's topic, evil twins, inspired our winning authors to unleash their talents for creating memorable characters and to question not just identity but reality itself. Several of our authors are repeat winners. In fact, our first-prize winner, Greg Beatty, has won prizes in this contest five times since 2008. He’s about to publish a collection of his flash fiction.

All six of the winning authors will receive a complimentary one-year membership in Ligonier Valley Writers, a professional edit of their stories, publication at the LVW website, and a chance to perform their winning story aloud. The first, second, and third place winners will also receive cash prizes.

Damian is a much-published author of flash and other fiction who has also taught flash fiction writing at Pitt and other universities. He recently published a collection of his flash fiction called Fables of the Deconstruction (CLASH Books). We’ve asked him to give a talk and reading from his book once we’re back to in-person meetings.

In past years the winning stories have been read aloud during the Halloween season, most by their authors, at Craftique in Greensburg and other venues. This year we’re still being cautious about Covid, so instead we posted the stories here just in time for Halloween. 

However, we hope to be able to hold the in-person readings of these stories next spring.

If you’re in the mood for more scary stories now, during the Halloween season, you can order Phantom Detectives at Risk, the fourth anthology in the Phantom Detectives series, on Amazon as either a trade paperback or an ebook. All of the stories are by local writers. The anthology is published by the Greensburg Writers Group as a fundraiser for Ligonier Valley Writers.